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Quality assurance in proton beam therapy using a plastic scintillator and a commercially available digital camera

Almurayshid, M; Helo, Y; Kacperek, A; Griffiths, J; Hebden, J; Gibson, A; (2017) Quality assurance in proton beam therapy using a plastic scintillator and a commercially available digital camera. Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics , 18 (5) pp. 210-219. 10.1002/acm2.12143. Green open access

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Abstract

PURPOSE: In this article, we evaluate a plastic scintillation detector system for quality assurance in proton therapy using a BC-408 plastic scintillator, a commercial camera, and a computer. METHODS: The basic characteristics of the system were assessed in a series of proton irradiations. The reproducibility and response to changes of dose, dose-rate, and proton energy were determined. Photographs of the scintillation light distributions were acquired, and compared with Geant4 Monte Carlo simulations and with depth-dose curves measured with an ionization chamber. A quenching effect was observed at the Bragg peak of the 60 MeV proton beam where less light was produced than expected. We developed an approach using Birks equation to correct for this quenching. We simulated the linear energy transfer (LET) as a function of depth in Geant4 and found Birks constant by comparing the calculated LET and measured scintillation light distribution. We then used the derived value of Birks constant to correct the measured scintillation light distribution for quenching using Geant4. RESULTS: The corrected light output from the scintillator increased linearly with dose. The system is stable and offers short-term reproducibility to within 0.80%. No dose rate dependency was observed in this work. CONCLUSIONS: This approach offers an effective way to correct for quenching, and could provide a method for rapid, convenient, routine quality assurance for clinical proton beams. Furthermore, the system has the advantage of providing 2D visualization of individual radiation fields, with potential application for quality assurance of complex, time-varying fields.

Type: Article
Title: Quality assurance in proton beam therapy using a plastic scintillator and a commercially available digital camera
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/acm2.12143
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acm2.12143
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. © 2017 The Authors. Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of American Association of Physicists in Medicine
Keywords: Proton therapy, quality assurance, radiotherapy
UCL classification: UCL
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URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1570219
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